The most hallowed World Cup cross-country skiing race — the Holmenkollen 50km in Oslo, Norway — was decided by a photo finish after more than two hours on course Saturday.
Swiss Dario Cologna edged Norwegian Martin Johnsrud Sundby in a lean, both crossing the line in 2 hours, 1 minute, 48.1 seconds.
Cologna, who owns four individual Olympic titles among the last three Winter Games, captured his first Holmenkollen win after runners-up in 2012 and 2015.
“Going to the finish I thought he would be stronger than me,” Cologna said, according to the International Ski Federation. “It is amazing to finally win here. It’s the most important individual competition on the World Cup. I had to wait some years to finally get this victory.”
Sundby, the World Cup overall champion three of the previous four seasons, was trying to become the first man to win three Holmenkollen 50km races.
“Dario has been second a few times only by a few centimetres, so I think it was karma or something that Dario finally got his victory,” Sundby said.
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Some days, you have a good race. Some days, you have a bad one.
Norwegian cross-country skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby – who won bronze in last Sunday’s skiathlon – had the latter in Friday’s men’s 15k classic, finishing 13th in a race that he was expected to contend for a medal in.
You’d figure that of all the people that could cheer him up afterwards, his mother would be the first in line.
Well…That didn’t quite happen.
“You’re the worst Norwegian,” said Sundby’s mom, Gro Johnsrud Langslet, on Norwegian television during the race. “You should go home.”
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Now, as eyebrow-raising as those comments are, one could chalk them up as having been made in jest.
But as her son trudged toward the finish line, she said: “Look at that. He doesn’t stand a chance.”
“He isn’t as bad as this indicates,” she added. “This is the worst he’s been this year.”
Well, mothers do try to be honest with their children.
Sundby probably isn’t worrying about the matter right now, as he’s currently competing in the men’s 4x10km relay for Team Norway.